DAM New York 2020

The Art and Practice of Managing Digital Media


The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA): How iterating on your DAMS and CCMS makes it possible to create innovative front-facing digital projects

April 14, 11:20 AM

In 2019, The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) launched a comprehensive best-practice Open Access initiative, which allows the public to share, collaborate, remix, and reuse high resolution images of public-domain artworks. The launch included a well-documented, and searchable public API to allow data scientists to incorporate our collection into their data-visualization and machine-learning projects. In the same year, CMA deployed a redesigned Collection Online, and re-installed ARTLENS Gallery with new artworks and new features, such as gesture-based 3D photogrammetry. 

So how is a small digital team at the Cleveland Museum of Art able to constantly create powerful outward facing tools for the public?

Back-end iteration! Through the timeline of back-end iteration at CMA, we have experienced successes and failures and learned many lessons. We evolved from merely trying to replicate outdated, paper-based workflows digitally, to creating new and more efficient workflows facilitated by available technology.

Jane Alexander, Chief Digital Information Officer, The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) explains how creating and continuously iterating on a flexible and fully integrated back-end system is imperative to the success of outward-facing digital projects in the museum world and beyond.


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